The CAGED Guitar System: Unlocking the Fret Board

Moveable Shapes

You can move the E barre chord shape ANYWHERE along the fret board.

For now, concentrate on moving it to the:

  • 3rd fret. (G note.)
  • 5th fret. (A note.)
  • 7th fret. (B note.)

On the 3rd fret, this chord becomes a ‘G major chord’.

The 5th, ‘the A major chord’.

The 7th, ‘the B major chord’.

If you can’t remember each note name, just remember ‘GAB’.

D Shape Guitar Chord

The ‘D’ in CAGED guitar system refers to the open ‘D chord’. Here it is:

D Chord

Learn to play this chord here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The D Chord On Guitar

To move this shape around the fret board, we have to make a slight tweak. Here is a C major chord which uses the D shape.

C Chord D shape

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Changing The Key Of This Chord

To change the key of this chord, we’re going to apply the same concept. We must move it to a different fret.

This time, the root note can be found on the D string. (4th string.)

Here are the root notes for the D string:


For example, if you wanted to play a G major chord using the D shape, move this chord to the 5th fret.

CAGED Guitar System Scales And Arpeggios

As well as learning chords through the CAGED guitar system, you can also learn scales and arpeggios.

For this example, we’re going to learn each scale and arpeggio in the key of C major.

Each of these scales fit around there respective chord shapes.

C Shape Scale And Arpeggio

caged guitar system


A Shape Scale And Arpeggio


caged guitar system

G Shape Scale And Arpeggio

C Major Scale

C Scale

Learn to play guitar scales here: Learn Guitar Scales In 8 Easy Steps

E Shape Scale And Arpeggio


caged guitar system

D Shape Scale And Arpeggio


caged guitar system


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